As far as life goes, I like to think of myself as a pretty sociable person.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved making new friends and forming close friendships. This happened throughout my entire life, and still continues to this day during my final semester of university study.
It is because of this that I usually find myself almost fearing loneliness; on the flip side however, my life has gotten so busy that I usually find the only time I have to myself is at night when I am getting ready for bed or at the City Hub when I have a huge assessment due. I have learnt to embrace these times to myself.
Last weekend, I completely and emotionally gave myself a Chernobyl chemical meltdown. I was standing in the kitchen, washing up dishes, and I literally burst into tears. At first I assumed it was a ‘high’ side effect of the Hexavalent Chromium that Orica ‘accidently’ released into the atmosphere, putting the entire North Eastern/Inner Western suburbs of Newcastle on chemical pollutant alert, until I realised; over the last two years, coupled with the fact that my own Father no longer wanted to call me his son, had finally caught up with me. I had been strong for 2 years, and I couldn’t hold on any longer.
So I walked into my bedroom, shut the door, and didn’t exit for over 24 hours. I watched sad movies, and cried. I watched happy movies, and cried. I watched ‘Mean Girls’, and cried. I ate packets of Tim Tams. I ate packets of Twisties. I slept in a semi-comatosed state for about 12 hours.
The next day, I woke up, showered, got dressed, and left the house.
My first stop was Newcastle museum, a place that had only recently opened up a few weeks before in the Honeysuckle Harbour development. I marvelled at the installation pieces; which included a giant globe, scientific ‘hands on’ exhibits, a history of the BHP steel works and transport infrastructure in the Newcastle area. Yes, under this uber cool exterior and dashing good looks, I am secretly a nerd at heart (well not so much secretly since I am a History Teacher and all, but you catch my drift).
The funny thing I noticed was that throughout the museum were young families, with kids running around jumping on equipment and playing with the hands on exhibits. There were also young couples with strollers, and even a few seniors holding hands as they wandered through the glass-lined atrium that forms the entry to Newcastle museum.
I was the ONLY one who was visiting the Newcastle museum BY MYSELF. With my giant manbag and digital camera in tow, I took photographs of some of the exhibits, marvelled at the Ancient Aboriginal stonewares, and climbed on board the original steam tram that ran from Newcastle to Wallsend. By myself. For somebody who thrives on social interaction, this was a huge step for me to take.
I then drove down to Nobby’s Headland, and walked down past the military embankments and onto the South Rockwall. I stood on the end as the rain clouds moved in and the seas whipped up; families and couples again formed the bulk of the people enjoying the last remnants of sunshine as they soon ran off to seek cover. I stood on the edge of the Rockwall and allowed the sea spray and rain to clear away the bad feelings I was holding inside of me. LET IT ALL GO.
I then drove up to the Struzlecki lookout up above Cooks Hill, easily one of my favourite places in the world. To one side is the ocean, dotted with oil and coal tankers waiting to enter one of the busiest coal ports in the world. To the other, uninterrupted views of the city stretching from Stockton to the North to Charlestown in the South; the only thing that prevents you from seeing further south are the foothills that form the far southern suburbs of Newcastle and the gateway to the Sydney Basin.
I sat in my car, with rain lashing the windscreen, and smoked cigarette after cigarette. I listened to The Kooks, I smoked, and I quietly contemplated my life.
Finally, I drove home (damp from the rain), opened two bottles of wine, and consumed them in my kitchen.
Whilst the entire weekend sounded very ‘crazy old cat lady’, it was JUST what I needed to begin the next chapter of my life. The situation was not my fault, and it never was. My Father was the one who chose to abandon the family. My Father is the one who chose to disown me, although he had managed to manipulate his words to allow me to try to burden his guilt for the last two years. IT IS MY FATHER’S ISSUE. NO LONGER MINE.
I have now never felt so good about my life as I have before. My life is actually amazing, and I no longer need to feel ‘abandoned’ by my Father. He can try to sleep at night knowing that whilst disowning me was the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my entire life, it has made me the person I am today. I am a STRONG HUMAN BEING.I love my life and the people who choose to remain in it. I am thankful.
It took a weekend of isolation to do this soul searching, but it needed to be done, and I am so much more thankful for it. Unfortunately, someone tried to rain on my parade by openly expressing their resentment for me not inviting them along to these activities as a ‘date’ through an encoded Facebook status update; but if the last two years have taught me anything, I should only rely on myself as ‘numero uno’. If someone isn’t respecting of my emotional needs or feelings, why should I lend out my heart to them? Whilst I live a very busy life and do not have much time for dating, I am willing to make myself emotionally available to someone who can only respect my feelings in return.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS. And it has never felt so good.